Monthly Archives: November 2012

Info Exchange – The Value of Loyalty

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months
  • Simplifying mergers and acquisitions


Our information exchange this week highlights Loyalty Factor President Dianne Durkin’s insights on the value of building loyalty within your organization as well as your personal and professional lives.  


The Value of Loyalty

Over the years I have spoken a lot about loyalty in the corporate world. Today I want to speak about loyalty on a personal level.


Loyalty is one of those qualities that people admire most in others. People value it more than almost any other quality. They try to teach it to their children and emphasize it to their staffs. They also try to gauge it when deciding on business and personal relationships.


Much like the word integrity, loyalty is something many people throw about freely. There is no doubt loyalty lets people know where you stand. At the same time it requires that you speak truthfully to the people and organizations to which you are loyal. Loyalty requires honesty. In business or in personal relationships, loyalty is indispensable.


When asked why people stay loyal, many answer, “It’s the belief”. Belief and loyalty make a huge combination – belief in the person, belief in the individual, belief in the company, and belief that the loyalty will pay off in the long-term. Unfortunately, we live in a world with increasing short sightedness and this affects our loyalty.


Each time we are loyal and judicious, loyal and not fanatical, loyal while understanding the road to be taken, loyal without offending others, we reinforce one of the pillars and one of the most admired attributes in ourselves and others – LOYALTY.


For more information on how to build the Employee Loyalty, Customer Loyalty, Personal Loyalty and/or Brand Loyalty in your personal and professional relationships as we head into the New Year, contact Dianne Durkin at (603) 334-3401 or email her at [email protected].


In her keynote on “Managing Change” Dianne Durkin highlights the value of risk in creating successful opportunities.

Engagement Process: Communicate the Plan

Step 3 in our Engagement Process Series is all about Communication, Communication, Communication!

3. Communicate the Plan to Address the Identified Major Business Improvements

Many organizations spend a lot of time creating complex communication strategies.  Instead of going down that path, think of ways to paint the full picture for your employees.


Communication only works when your managers and employees are communicating with each other. Communicating is a two way street. Let us look at some communication techniques that will have communication operating at a higher level in your organization.


Communicate in context


When you communicate to your employees, make sure you are looking at the communication from their perspective.  Be sure to answer the subliminal question in employees’ minds, “What is in it for me?”  For example, if I am a line worker at a manufacturing facility, I want to know how change impacts me.  How many more people are we adding?  Will I have to work more overtime?  Do I need additional training? 


Forums of understanding


Make sure people receive communication in the way you intend it to be.  Remember, it is not enough to push the message out – people need to understand it.  For example, if people are feeling uneasy about change, there needs to be a forum or a conduit for them to express their concerns and then a time and place to address those concerns.  Real connection comes from both expression and actions that say loudly:  “They heard me!”


Sustaining communication


How do you know when your communication plan takes flight?  It  is when people begin trading stories and ideas.  That is when you know they are “internalizing the message.”


This can happen in focus groups, work teams or individual conversations.  When the communication grows organically, it becomes a participative plan that is sustainable in your organization.


When developing your communication,

follow the Native American adage and

“Walk a mile in their moccasins.”


Up next in the Engagement Process: Build Team Infrastructure to Develop Business Solutions.

Info Exchange – The Advantage

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months
  • Simplifying mergers and acquisitions


Our information exchange this week highlights the book, “The Advantage – Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business” by Patrick Lencioni.


The Advantage

The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. That is the premise of, The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni.


The Four Disciplines Model:


1: Build a cohesive leadership team that trusts one another. They are completely comfortable being transparent where they say and genuinely mean things like, “I screwed up,” “I need help,” “Your idea is better than mine,” and even, “I’m sorry.”


2: Create Clarity. The leadership team of a healthy organization must be intellectually aligned and committed to the same answers to six simple but critical questions:

  • Why do we exist? (An organization’s core purpose.)
  • How do we behave? (Core values that are the heart of the organization’s identity.)
  • What do we do? (The organization’s business.)
  • How will we succeed?
  • What is most important right now? (When executives agree on their top priority, they must take collective responsibility for achieving it and dissolve silos.)
  • Who must do what? (Regardless of how clear or confusing a company’s “org” chart may be, it is always worthwhile to take a little time to clarity so that everyone on the leadership team knows all critical areas are covered.)

3: Overcome Clarity. Once a leadership team has established behavioral cohesion and created clarity around the answers to those questions, it must then communicate those answers to

employees clearly, repeatedly and enthusiastically.


4: Reinforce Clarity. In order for an organization to remain healthy over time, its leaders must reinforce clarity in every process that involves people.


The single biggest factor determining whether an organization is going to get healthier – or not – is the genuine commitment and active involvement of the person in charge.


For tips and strategies on how to give your organization a competitive advantage, contact Loyalty Factor at 603.334.3401. Loyalty Factor has helped numerous organizations grow beyond expectations by embracing the above disciplines.

Engagement Process: Develop the Focus and Strategy for Improvement

Up next in our deeper look at the Engagement Process:

2. Develop the Focus and Strategy for Improvement

Now comes a critical step.  It is great to listen; now it is time to take action on what you heard and learned.  Compiling the information, categorizing it, analyzing it and putting a focused plan into action is imperative.


Prioritization is a key success factor.  If you try to do everything, nothing will get done properly.  Step 2 is all about laser-focusing on the key areas for improvement and developing a strategy to address them.


Throughout my work with hundreds of clients, I have found that in addition to operational enhancements, there are three things I hear employees say throughout Step 1:

1.   “What is our vision and strategy for the future?”


2.   “Communications from the manager to employee and from department to department are far too poor.”


3.   “Appreciation is non-existent.  We rarely receive positive feedback, and yet if something is wrong, we know it instantly.”


Think about these comments in connection with the primary motivators for people in the work environment as highlighted in Zig Ziglar’s statement,


 “Workers have three primary needs:
interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and
being let in on things that are going on in the company.”


People want to “feel in on things.”  They want a clear vision, purpose and strategy. And, in order to ensure everyone understands it, it must be communicated in a clear, concise and consistent manner.


The message to senior management is obvious: Clearly articulate your vision and strategy and help individuals understand how their work contributes to achieving it.  Simplicity for understanding is key.  Make sure your purpose and vision are simple and accessible and your employees can identify with it.  A meaningful purpose can go a long way in connecting and motivating people.


See how the simplicity shines through in these two purpose statements from Ritz-Carlton and Disney.

“Ladies and gentlemen
serving ladies and gentlemen.”




“To use our imagination to 
happiness to millions.”




If you engage your employees in developing the purpose, vision and values, and creating the future, you have the foundation for improvement and growth.


When employees are involved, they will live the values, after all, they developed them and they will strive to achieve the vision. People generally like to set their destiny and strive to achieve it.


In Step 2, you have to share the vision and values with the same people who helped you shape it:  your employees.  That is what leads us to Step 3 for our next installment.


If employees do not know where you are going
and what their role is in getting you there,
why do they care?


Marketing Insider – Loyalty: The ‘L-word’ of Customer Relationships

In the recent edition of Marketing Insider, President and Founder of Loyalty Factor, Dianne Durkin, was the Loyalty Expert featured in the cover story Loyalty: The L Word of Customer Relationships.

Statistics vary, but it’s generally accepted that it costs you anywhere from six to 20 times more to gain a new customer than it does to keep a current customer.


However, true value extends beyond the numbers. If you have loyal customers, they’re praising you and recommending you, in turn, doing some of that outbound marketing for you. But what makes a customer loyal? And if the relationship is broken, how do you fix it?


Dianne Durkin, founder and president of Loyalty Factor, a consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty, says customer loyalty is actually a partnership. To glean the most value from customers, you need to provide value to them, too.


Loyal customers help your business grow


They are your biggest advocates. They recommend you and can introduce you to new clients. And they don’t mind at all. According to Durkin, using these advocates as references helps them to feel needed and valued which translates well into something crucial for relationships: rapport and true connection. “People buy from people, they don’t buy from companies,” Durkin says. “To build rapport, treat other people the way you want to be treated and always build trust.”


It’s important to nurture your customer relationships and avoid breakdowns in communication. Durkin says one of the most common ways to lose loyalty is failing to follow through on what you’ve promised, frequently a delivery date or time. What is the cost?


• A dissatisfied consumer will tell between nine and 15 people about their experience. About 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs, 2011)

• 86% of consumers will pay up to 25% more for better customer experience. (Harris Interactive, Customer Experience Impact Report, 2011)

• It takes 12 positive service experiences to make up for one negative experience. (“Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner)

Remember those VIPs known as company advocates? Losing a customer means you’re also losing all of the additional business an advocate could have sent your way. So, how do you repair the damage that’s done?


Durkin says one of the most important things to do after admitting a mistake is to ask a customer how you can make it up to them. This means listening. “Questions are your secret weapons,” she says. “Ask, ‘What would you recommend I do to help in this situation?’ Or, ‘If you were in my shoes, what would you do?’”


Unhappy customers have many more communications channels and ways to reach a larger audience than ever before. Here are some of Durkin’s “fix-it” strategies:


Negative online review

Some may not be worth paying attention to, but those that could have far-reaching effects should be addressed. If possible, send a personal email to the disgruntled party and post a public response that explains your steps to make it right.


Negative comments on social networking pages

The right approach is situational, but Durkin recommends always keeping your social network current with your most positive commentary. Delete comments that are inappropriate or offensive. Engage your advocates, and ask if they’ll reach out to others on your behalf. When you have advocates willing to help you, Durkin says it’s best to draft what you want to say and then have your advocates deliver your messages.


Email with an error

Should you send a correction? According to Durkin, it depends. A misspelling of a customer’s name may not be worth calling attention to, but if you have an erroneous amount in an offer, that’s a different story. Durkin recommends sending a correction email that says: “In the excitement of this offering, we miscommunicated. We want to take the opportunity to clarify and to thank you for your business.”


Dormant accounts

How do you determine if you’ve let these former customers down, and how can you win them back?


Pull out a list of those with whom you haven’t done business in the past year. Mail a letter, package or postcard to them with a “welcome back” offer, if appropriate.


“Or hire an outside firm to call dormant accounts,” Durkin says. “They will tell the surveyor things they will never, ever tell you. To get the most useful information, the surveyor should ask specific questions such as, ‘Tell me why you no longer do business with company X.’ and ‘If there’s something company X needs to stop doing, what is it?’”


Durkin says that even after getting responses, more questions should be asked. For example: if a customer says you can win them back with a discount, ask why it’s important to them. There may be a buried solution to uncover. And overall, these calls should always sell the value of what you offer that can’t be found anywhere else.


©2012 Allegra Network

Posted with permission


For more about how Dianne Durkin can help you build loyalty within your organization, as well as help you outline and prioritize major success initiatives, contact her organization Loyalty Factor. Loyalty Factor is well known for helping companies build employee loyalty, which builds customer loyalty and ultimately drives brand loyalty.

For more information about how Dianne Durkin can help and support your organization, call 603.334.3401 or visit